29 May 2012

The Desert Mind

It was high time, frankly, to leave the confines of Sprawlstin behind for a few days of the crisp, minimalist West Texas desert. Just beyond Dripping Springs headed west, I can feel the city and its suburbs and strip malls slough off. The lightness of being begins around there. But it's way out in the Chihuahuan Desert, with it's open space, the smell of creosote bush, the marauding storms that echo through the valleys, that I begin to feel most at ease.

When in need, we like to head to the Davis Mountains. It's inspiring. It's calming. It's raw. And it's full of great and subtle beauty.

The mountains and valleys are recovering quite gracefully from last year's fires. Smooth sotol and Spanish dagger hold forth. Cholla cactus blooms.

And the birds are gangbusters. Among some unidentified, we saw:

Montezuma quail
Scaled quail
Vermillion flycatcher
Ash-throated flycatcher
Bewick's wren
Black-chinned hummingbird
Blue grosbeak
Black-headed grosbeak
Brown (Canyon) towhee
Summer tanager
Black-crested tufted titmouse
Acorn woodpecker
Scrub jay
And more...

The old fort is worth a visit, especially when coming down from the mountain on the hike over from the state park.


Cindy at enclos*ure said...

So beautiful! I love this kind of landscape. Thanks for sharing.

Arlene Carr said...

I just started following your blog and I really enjoy your photos. The ones from your yard in Austin are beautiful and I must confess that I'm very envious. My own yard is pretty but I live in a suburb west of Dallas, ugh, and I want to live in Austin.
Your most recent photos from west Texas are particularly beautiful to me since I love that part of the state and I can relate to the feelings you describe. I love Ft Davis and the Hotel Limpia, along with Marathon (The Gage!), Alpine, Marfa, Balmorhea and gorgeous Big Bend. Good luck in your travels and keep the pictures coming!